Pakistan PM wants all-encompassing plan to increase investment and trade with Azerbaijan


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday instructed authorities to formulate a “comprehensive” action plan to boost trade and investment with Azerbaijan, a statement from his office said, as Pakistan seeks foreign investment in its key economic sectors to ward off a macroeconomic crisis. 

Pakistan has aimed to enhance its role as a pivotal trade and transit hub connecting Central Asian republics, including Azerbaijan, with the rest of the world to leverage its strategic geographical position.

PM Sharif has repeatedly said his government wants mutually beneficial economic partnerships, not loans, with countries around the world as its fragile economy grapples with a macroeconomic crisis.

The Pakistani premier chaired a high-level meeting attended by senior government ministers on enhancing relations with Central Asian states, particularly Azerbaijan, in the areas of economy and investment, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said. 

“Pakistan geographically offers a natural economic corridor to the sea for Central Asian states,” Sharif was quoted as saying by the PMO. 

He highlighted the decades-old friendly relations that Pakistan and Azerbaijan enjoyed, noting that there were significant opportunities for trade and investment between the two countries.

“The prime minister directed the development of a comprehensive action plan to boost trade efficiency and expand current trade between the two countries,” the PMO said. 

Sharif was told during the meeting that there was “substantial potential” for energy cooperation between Pakistan and Azerbaijan and that both countries were in talks regarding a preferential trade agreement. 

“Foreign investment in the country is on the rise due to the government’s business and investment-friendly policies,” Sharif noted. 


Apart from seeking a financial bailout program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stabilize its fragile economy, Pakistan has also sought foreign investment in key economic sectors with bilateral allies and multilateral organizations. 

The South Asian country set up the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) in June last year. He civil-military hybrid forum seeks to attract international investment in mining, agriculture, livestock, minerals and other important sectors of Pakistan’s economy

Pakistan saw a flurry of high-level engagements in April and May with business and diplomatic delegations from Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Japan and Qatar visiting the country to discuss trade and investment in the South Asian country’s various sectors.

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